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Published On: Tue, Feb 19th, 2013

Rock hunters busy as shards from Russian meteorite selling for up to $10,000

Russian rock hunters have struck out on their own to find fragments of the meteorite that exploded in the sky over Chelyabinsk on Friday morning, amid reports that pieces are fetching as much $10,000. (initial report here)

A hole in Chebarkul Lake made by meteorite debris. Photo by Chebarkul town head Andrey Orlov.

A hole in Chebarkul Lake made by meteorite debris. Photo by Chebarkul town head Andrey Orlov.

An expedition found a crater in the ice over Lake Chebarkul, where the scientists believe pieces of the space rock landed.

“The fragments discovered come from the meteorite fusion crust, which means most of the meteorite mass is sunken in the lake,” expedition leader Viktor Grokhovsky told news wire Interfax today.

Grokhovsky, of Ural Federal University and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ committee on meteorites, said that no team has been officially sent out to look for the meteorite’s landing site but as a committee member, he couldn’t resist going to have a look. (The government warned citizens to stay clear of the particles)

The expert estimated the size of the sunken meteorite at 50-60 centimeters.

“We have found tiny pieces, about 50-53 in all, and each is measured in millimeters. That was all we could find in the snow around the crater,” he said.

New expeditions of Urals scientists to the meteorite drop zone are in question: scientists lack funds and there has been no official order for their work.

“It was our personal initiative. Being a committee member, I could not have stayed aside so I sent the guys there,” Grokhovsky said.

The search zone will be very wide, he said. Grokhovsky predicted that meteorite fragments might be found not only in the Lake Chebarkul.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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